IT’S strange the effect a uniform can have. MSPs arrived at FMQs sporting cheery rainbow ties to celebrate the TIE campaign against homophobic and transphobic bullying.

But as charges of transphobia and other dim prejudices were read out against minister-for-a-day Gillian Martin, the same look seemed to turn them into the justices of a very severe court.

No one was laughing now at Ms Martin’s 11-year-old “The Misssy M Misssives” blog, which chortled over “hairy knuckled lipstick-wearing transitional transgender Laydees” in colleges.

On Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon had named the Aberdeenshire MSP as her further and higher education minister. Then the blog posts surfaced, and Misssy Martin became Dismisssy Martin.

Or rather, the blog posts resurfaced, having been well aired in the 2016 election. Labour’s Richard Leonard wanted to know why the FM still wanted her as a minister.

“In the end, this is not just about Gillian Martin’s judgment; this is about the FM’s judgment, is it not?”

Ms Sturgeon testily batted away the question and tried parroting from a crib sheet of government news releases.

But she had to face the issue when it came to the vote on her reshuffle appointments.

Ms Martin’s comments were “ill-advised” but did not reflect her views today, she insisted.

Tory Jackson Carlaw, who loves to play the jester at ministerial votes, looked genuinely pained to descend into “partisan” remarks. But given one blog was about the tipping habits of “American Jews” and “American Blacks”, all the usual jokes were off.

“The proposed appointment prompts a judgment about the FM. She has done the job long enough; thin excuses do not cut it. A reshuffle that has been a year in the making should not stand as the most notorious reshuffle in the Parliament’s history,” he said.

Ms Sturgeon gulped and said she took the comments “on the chin”, before trying to make excuses about the blog being ancient history, written when Ms Martin was a naive and crazy 38-year-old.

She asked MSPs to look into “their hearts of hearts” and reflect, “before we stand in glass houses throwing stones”. They looked.

Ms Martin was gone three hours later. She will find her next promotion waiting for her at the end of the rainbow.